After a week in the jungle of Belize, now it was time to check out an island boutique hotel we had heard a lot about. A resort that has been awarded for being eco-friendly and for its excellent service. Xanadu Island Resort in San Pedro, Belize on Ambergris Caye stands out also for its rather unusual eco friendly building structures – monolith domes with thatched roofs. A structure that survived Hurricane Keith! So yes, it was worth checking out.
Xanadu Resort – a dream that was
It’s interesting how it all began. The owners, Ivan and Judy decided to put the cold climate of Toronto behind them. They got into a motor home along with their daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and dogs….and made their way through the US and Mexico. They landed in Belize before the turn of the Millennium. They parked their trailer on the beach and lived out of it for two years. Over the next few years they created what Xanadu Island Resort is today. The trailer evolved into their office….and remains one to this day! How unusually delightful is that?!
We were welcomed with warm smiles and rum punches. With the check in formalities taken care of with ease, we were brought up to speed about the island. We were also handed a map that listed out everything from restaurants to eat in, places to visit and things to do. How cool!
That done, Orlando helped move our heavy luggage into our suite.
Home suite home
I took a look around our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite that would be our home through the week. At the risk of sounding clichéd, this was the closest I’d ever felt to being in a home away from home! The warmth of our welcome resounded in these rooms. The master bedroom had a queen sized bed (but a king sized bed would have been better), while the other had twin beds, enough to accommodate a family of four.
If I thought the suite was spacious, the closets and dressers were even more so. We could easily (and hastily) hide away the mess that our four suitcases carried.
Now this was a space I loved. It was a fully equipped kitchen, not with just the basic appliances. There are wine and water glasses, pots and pans, coffee maker and kettle…just to give you an idea. And aside from that there is purified water, ground coffee, sugar, tea, paper towels…etc. etc – all replenished every day. We had everything and more! Know what I mean? The attention to detail was thrilling.
The living room cozily seats four. Three flat screen TVs made sure no one got in anyone else’s hair in their viewing preferences.
Oh, and the porch! It had a hammock (where you’d find me first thing every morning), a dining table and sunning chairs. An open invitation to take advantage of the view of the trees and the ocean and just relax. Truly, truly Xanadu!
Ivan and Judy, the owners, made the decision to keep the surroundings unspoiled and natural. Just lush green foliage and a walkway that slopes up into the trees if you fancy a nature walk. The lobby sits in the middle of the property (which includes the trailer). The trailer was moved away from its original place on the beach to make way for a swimming pool. The pool is not just a picturesque one, but heated too, and I loved that I could take a dip whenever I wanted!
The Staff and service
The people of Belize are among the friendliest people I’ve ever met on my travels, oh yes, along with the Cambodians. As you know, I HAVE traveled a bit! The staff at Xanadu are the warmest and friendliest of them all. Beginning with Cathy, the Manager, and her wonderful team, the feeling of being genuinely caring runs strong. They take hospitality to a whole new plane by connecting with you on a personal level, making you feel welcome and at ease.
The hotel provides bicycles and kayaks at no extra cost, although we chose to walk around town more often than not.
You won’t feel the absence of a restaurant since you have a more than well equipped kitchen at your disposal and a number of restaurants a short walk or taxi ride away.
The location is peaceful and yet, you don’t have to walk very far to get groceries or that bottle of wine whenever you need to get some.
Who is the hotel for?
I’d say it is perfect for anybody – couples, families, groups of friends and even solo travelers! It’s perfect if you love to cook and entertain. It certainly isn’t your regular run of the mill sort of resort. Xanadu Island Resort is large and spacious. The suites are more like an ocean view luxury condominium, with the staff being your friendly neighbors!
Would I recommend Xanadu Island Resort?
I would be back here without a second thought. It may not be your typical flashy, luxury hotel, but it is comfortable, inviting and has everything needed to make you feel at home. And I do like that!
If you would like to know more about Xanadu Island Resort, do visit their official website.
Name: Xanadu Island Resort
Rates: From USD 180 (Low Season)
Disclaimer: We were invited by Xanadu Island Resort to be their guests. My recommendations are in no way influenced by that, everything from our stay to the service was excellent.
I’m curious, if you’ve stayed here, I’d love to hear your experience. So, do write, comment and/or add to this!
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